Hunter Biden has sued the Internal Revenue Service over claims agents illegally released his tax returns.
President Joe Biden’s son claims the agency violated his privacy by unlawfully disclosing his records to members of Congress and to the news media.
The lawsuit was filed days in federal court in Washington D.C. after he was hit with three federal firearms charges for allegedly buying a gun while he was addicted to drugs.
Hunter Biden has sued the Internal Revenue Service over claims agents illegally released his tax returns
He is seeking all the documents involving the disclosure of his tax information, $1,000 for each unauthorized disclosure and attorneys fees.
The president’s son is fighting aggressively against the charges against him. His lawyers have fired off salvos and letters to prosecutors and lawmakers. Suing the IRS is Hunter’s strongest counter move to date.
Hunter Biden’s lawsuit says that while he has ‘all the same responsibilities as any other American citizen,’ he also ‘has no fewer or lesser rights than any other American citizen, and no government agency or government agent has free reign to violate his rights simply because of who he is.’
His lawsuit targets the two IRS agents turned whistleblowers, charging when they went to Congress and the medial about the alleged mishandling of Hunter’s tax investigation by Justice Department officials, they disclosed information about the investigation, and about Biden’s taxes, that the law aims to keep secret.
The lawsuit does not name the two IRS agents but is centered on disclosures made by Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler, and their lawyers in public statements, congressional testimony, and interviews.
Shapley, in news interviews, claimed he was repeatedly prevented from taking the necessary – and routine – steps when it came to Hunter’s case.
He said conduct uncovered during the five-year investigation could have implicated President Joe Biden as well, and resulted in additional charges, and claimed the road blocks were happening even during the Trump years.
‘There were certain investigative steps that we weren’t allowed to take that could have led us to President Biden,’ Shapley said, adding that his team at the IRS ‘needed to take [those steps] and we weren’t allowed to take them.’
Shapley, who worked for the agency for 14 years, helped oversee the investigation into the president’s son and is raising questions over alleged special treatment throughout the probe.
Currently Hunter is under investigation by U.S. Attorney David Weiss, who was appointed by Donald Trump. Weiss has been given special counsel status.
The investigation is looking into potential outstanding tax debt for Hunter’s stint as a board member of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company, while his father was VP. Weiss also charged Hunter Biden related to a false gun purchase.
The investigation gained steam after a plea deal, which Republicans slammed as a ‘sweetheart deal,’ fell through.
Weiss and Hunter’s lawyers reached a deal in July that called for the president’s son to plead guilty in Delaware federal court to two misdemeanor counts of failing to pay his taxes in return for prosecutors’ recommending probation.
But the deal fell apart in the Delaware courtroom when the presiding judge started to question some of its details, including one that including would theoretically protect Hunter Biden from other tax-related crimes in the same period.
Prosecutors said it would not. Hunter’s lawyers said it would. With that disagreement, the deal disappeared.
Weiss may soon file a new indictment against Hunter Biden in another federal court — potentially in California — over alleged tax crimes that the agents say they found in reviewing his finances from 2014 to 2019, the Washington Post reported.
IRS Supervisory Special Agent Gary Shapley, left, and IRS Criminal Investigator Joseph Ziegler, are sworn in at a House Oversight and Accountability Committee hearing in July
Hunter Biden with his father Joe Biden in 2016
Last week, Weiss announced three federal charges against Hunter tied to the president’s son buying a gun in 2018.
In the charges, two counts accuse Hunter Biden of having completed a form indicating he was not using illegal drugs when he bought a Colt Cobra revolver in October 2018. The third count alleges he possessed a firearm while using a narcotic.
Hunter, in his memoir, revealed he relapse into a drug and alcohol addiction after the death of his brother Beau from brain cancer in 2015.
His attorney Abbe Lowell said Hunter was not on drugs at the time he purchased the revolver.
‘If you’re going to be specific, then be specific. If the form asks if you are a drug user on the day you buy a gun that is an issue. If it says have you ever used drugs that’s an issue. That will be played out in court,’ he told ABC News last week.
The charges came the same week that Republicans in the House opened a formal impeachment inquiry into President Biden for his alleged connections to Hunter’s business dealings and is likely to have a long-term impact on his political career.
Two of the counts carry maximum prison sentences of 10 years, while the third has a maximum of five years. Each count also carries a maximum fine of $250,000.
Source of data and images: dailymail